Hallmark Stars to Become Cartoon Characters in New TV Movie & Series

casting news

Heavy TV casting developments via Heavy

Two Hallmark series stars are over the moon about their roles in a new Netflix movie and series for kids based on Julia Sykes’ popular “Unicorn Academy” books, to be released in November 2023, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Sadie Laflamme-Snow, who stars as Alice Landry on Hallmark’s “The Way Home” and Sara Garcia, who plays Valeria Galindo on “Ride,” both shared Instagram Stories on June 6, 2023, to express how excited they are for the world to meet the cartoon characters they’re playing. Here’s what you need to know:

Hallmark’s Sara Garcia Says Making ‘Unicorn Academy’ Has Been an ‘Incredible Experience’

Sara Garcia, Sadie Laflamme-Snow

Hallmark/GettyHallmark actresses Sara Garcia and Sadie Laflamme-Snow

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix and Spin Master have teamed up to produce a movie and eight-episode series following a young teen named Sophia whose been chosen to attend a prestigious academy that she later discovers is actually the magical “Unicorn Academy.” The trailer was just released and there are also plans for specials, short form videos and music videos to be released over a two year period, the outlet reported.

Per a press release issued in March, the fantasy-adventure is meant to “transport audiences to a magical world as they follow Sophia on her journey from ordinary to extraordinary – as she discovers her destiny as a unicorn rider.”

“Unicorn Academy” is the “boarding school of every kid’s dreams,” the release states, where Sophia and the rest of the freshman class must bond with a unicorn to unlock their magical powers. Netflix clearly expects the 72-minute movie and subsequent series to be huge hits, as there are already plans for a toy line, digital game, and other licensed products.

It’s not clear which characters Laflamme-Snow and Garcia have been cast as, but in August 2022, Yahoo reported that Laflamme-Snow had been cast as the “lead” in the project, which could mean she’s starring as Sophia. Regardless, both stars are clearly excited, sharing The Hollywood Reporter article in their Instagram Stories on June 6. Laflamme-Snow wrote “PINCH ME” over her story.

Garcia also shared clips from the trailer and wrote, “This is a 🔥 series about the power of unity & friendship & learning to follow your heart! — Mine is so full bc of this incredible experience! Can’t wait until November!!!!!!!!”

Producer Says ‘Unicorn Academy’ is Biggest Project They’ve Worked On

Spin Master, which is also behind hit kids’ series “PAW Patrol” and “Bakugan Battle Brawlers,” has been working on the franchise since 2018 when Jen Dodge, its president of entertainment, first became aware of the book series at the annual Children’s Book Festival in Bologna, Italy, she told The Hollywood Reporter.

“This is the biggest animated series we’ve ever made, for sure,” she said, adding that “Unicorn Academy” is designed primarily for girls around the target age of six, but could wind up being popular with pre-teens and teens, too.

There are 20 books in British author Sykes’ “Unicorn Academy” series, which has topped the New York Times Bestseller List according to her site, where she also credits her “brilliant friend and writing partner” Linda Chapman and illustrator Lucy Truman.

While promoting “Ride” in an April interview with Starry magazine, Garcia teased the upcoming animated movie and series as another project she was looking forward to.

“I’m really excited to be starring in some amazing upcoming animated series,” she said. “One I’m particularly aglow for is ‘Unicorn Academy,’ which will be airing on Netflix in the fall. I play a young girl who receives a mysterious invitation to attend a very special riding academy. It’s like Harry Potter but with unicorns and it’s absolutely fantastic!”

Laflamme-Snow will have her hands full, given that “The Way Home” has been renewed for a second season, and Garcia is waiting for word on whether Hallmark will also renew “Ride” after wrapping up its first season in late May.

Comment Here
Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Donna Wilkins
Donna Wilkins
3 months ago

This sounds like a great movie to take my grandchildren to. I would enjoy it also. I will look forward to November to see it with them when it comes to IL .